I was instantly attracted to the Pink Flamingo brand: fun, fabulous, a must for foodie fanatics. This trendy Parisian pizza parlour could easily be overlooked as just a quirky fast food outlet but it offers something quite unique and totally addictive. Luckily, anything pink always catches my eye and I grabbed the opportunity to try this Parisian outlet while spending a weekend in the French capital. With limited seating area, the flamingo fans often spill out onto the street, and often you will see hungry couples gorging by the edge of the canal: a pink balloon in one hand, a slice of pizza in the other, all part of the jolly summer ‘pink-nik’.
Entrepreneurial gastronomic couple Jamie Young and Marie Ravel opened the original pizza joint on rue Bichat, keen to offer wacky pizzas using organic ingredients and inventive combinations. The huge popularity of this concept has led to outlets opening up in all the hip areas of Paris (Marais, Aligre, Montmatre) as well as Bordeaux, Valencia, downtown Berlin and now a new branch in Amsterdam. Walking through Paris in 36 degree heat, we were hungry and tired by the time we reached rue Bichat. Jamie and Marie were waiting smiling outside the restaurant, and enthusiastically explained the Pink Flamingo pizza revolution to us while we enjoyed a bottle of the PF branded beer.
The interior of the tiny restaurant is decorated with cool pictures and posters, neon pink lighting and vintage Grease-like leather stools. The scorching weather encouraged us to sit outside on the seats at the front, we could watch the world go by while munching.
Don’t expect to eat a standard Margarita at Pink Flamingo… the team here present weird and wonderful combinations, totally unconventional but utterly delicious. We tried two of the recommended favourites from the menu:
- La Basquiat: gorgonzola, figs and parma ham (13 euros). This was an explosion of flavours, the tangy blue cheese, sweet figs and smoky ham working miraculously well together. I found the flavours rather rich and overpowering but my guest loved it.
- L’Almodovar: ‘Pizza Paella’, chicken, shrimps, chorizo and peas. I chose this sans shrimps; it was absolutely delicious, a glorious mix of meats, the peas were a particularly innovative and successful addition.
Funnily enough the pizzas don’t taste as bizarre as they sound, the combinations work exceptionally well. Jamie also presents a pizza of the moment, using seasonal ingredients of the week. I was also very tempted to try the La Cantona which involves a staggering eight different cheeses. Bases are crisp and thin, but substantial and cheese is gooey and on the generous side. The smells that waft from this pizzeria must attract diners from streets away.
We wandered away from the Pink Flamingo, branded t-shirt and balloon in hand, with our tummies totally satisfied and minds captured by this characterful little eatery. I’m trying to persuade this pizza pair to bring the Pink Flamingo in London, where I know it would be a hit. Fingers crossed.
Pink Flamingo, 67 rue Bichat, Canal St-Martin, 75010 Paris.
More information here: http://www.pinkflamingopizza.com/